Violence erupts in France as left-wing coalition takes surprise election lead

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

Violence erupted across France after a surprise exit poll projected a left-wing coalition leading the snap election, dealing a blow to Marine Le Pen's ambitions of forming France's first post-war right-wing government, Fox News reports.

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Video footage showed masked protesters running through the streets, brandishing torches and rioting, while riot police were deployed across the country.

French election night was tumultuous, as results showed a left-wing coalition heading toward a majority of parliamentary seats, sparking both celebrations and unrest in Paris, Fox News reports.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has announced his resignation after a far-left political alliance unexpectedly took a lead in snap elections.

Thousands of people gathered at Paris' Place de la République to celebrate the news, reflecting the broader support the coalition has received compared to Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron's centrist bloc, which came in second.

Conservatives are stunned by the reversal, as they had expected Marine Le Pen's National Rally to seize power, Fox News reports.

Social media footage captured violent scenes on the streets of Paris, with officers in anti-riot gear controlling crowds and tear gas being used during clashes. Protesters reportedly threw Molotov cocktails and set off smoke bombs.

The victorious left-wing coalition, known as the Popular Front, includes the French Socialist Party, the French Communist Party, the Ecologists and France Unbowed.

His platform includes reversing Macron's pension reforms and advocating for a retirement age of 60, as well as plans to raise public sector wages, reinstate a wealth tax, and increase France's minimum wage.

The election results marked a significant shift in French politics, with the National Rally led by Jordan Bardella claiming substantial gains despite initial high expectations. He criticised Macron for allegedly “pushing France into uncertainty and instability” and expressed disappointment at the lower-than-predicted results despite an increase in parliamentary seats.

Violence erupts in France

Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron will wait until the preliminary results of the second round of parliamentary elections are announced to decide on a new government, according to a statement issued by the Elysee Palace.

In Paris, supporters erupted in joy when it was announced that the left-wing NFP had overtaken the RN. This result was a reversal from the RN's initial lead after the first round of elections. When the result was confirmed at 8 pm local time, Parisians took to the streets to express their feelings, carrying banners and cheering.

The sense of relief was palpable during the celebrations, when firecrackers were lit and chants of “Everybody hates fascists” echoed through the streets.

Initial estimates were released at 8pm Paris time (1800 GMT), and official results are expected between late Sunday and Monday.

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